El Dorado Hall

Graduate Studies Center (GSC)

Who We Are

Staff Information

Kaia Tollefson, Ph.D.
Project Vista Director

Kaia is the Project Vista Director. She has 28 years of experience in education and 12+ years in higher education. She has had experience teaching in Alaska, New Mexico and California. Kaia is the author of nine monographs/reports and two books.

Email: kaia-joan.tollefson@csuci.edu

Wendy Olson, M.P.P.A
GSC Activity Director & Project Vista Coordinator

Wendy has been a staff member at CI since June 2002 and has over 18 years working in educational environments. Wendy believes that this is an exciting time to work on Project Vista, and having the opportunity to open up our new Graduate Studies Center through this grant is fantastic. GSC will serve a variety of students, from undergraduate through credential and graduate levels. Wendy loves working with staff, students and the community to provide support and collaborate whenever possible.

Email: wendy.olson@csuci.edu

Sara Alcalá, M.S.
GSC Counselor and Coordinator

Sara has been working at CI since 2005 and has 10+ years of experience working in schools, from elementary through university levels. She will provide information and support to CI’s future and current postbac students. Sara is also in charge of assisting with GSC events and coordination of daily operations. She looks forward to meeting with CI students and helping them achieve their goals!

Email: sara.alcala@csuci.edu

Marilyn Medina
Administrative Support Assistant

Marilyn Medina is a Ventura County native. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Marilyn comes with experience working for local non-profit organizations such as Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County and the Alzheimer's Association- California Central Chapter. 

Student Assistants

James Grasty
Project Vista & GSC Graduate Assistant (GSC GA)

James moved from Bakersfield to Ventura in July 2012 to open a new location for his DD for hire service DDI and pursue his MBA at CSUCI.

James completed his undergrad in Business: Finance & Marketing from California State University Bakersfield in 2006.  He will be receiving his MBA from California State University Channel Islands in May of 2014 with plans to use it to help further his business as well as other business concepts he has been working on.  He joined the team at the Graduate Studies Center and the Career Development Services Center in hopes to further their missions by leveraging his strengths and knowledge. 


Jennifer Lugo
Project Vista & GSC Lead Student Assistant

Jennifer is a Senior at CI, working on a B.A in Spanish with a minor in Developmental Psychology. She chose CI because it isn’t too far from the beach. During her free time, Jennifer likes to sing and dance with her friends and go to Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Rosa Alvarez
Project Vista & GSC Student Assistant

Rosa is a Junior at CI, majoring in Psychology. Rosa picked CI because it is a small campus away from her usual big city life. Her hobbies include reading, blogging, and solving word puzzles.


Meet our Graduate Studies Center CI Service Representatives:

Kristin Carpenter
Financial Aid Counselor
(805) 437-2089

Contact Kristin for:
Financial Aid, Scholarships

Brianne Keighley
Admissions, Records, & Advising Specialist
T (805)437-3201

Current CI Graduate students can contact Brianne for:
Advising, Your schedule of classes (Roadmap), Change of Major/Objective, Academic Leave, Graduation

Melissa Whitacre
CI Program Representative
T (805) 312-6367

Contact Melissa for:
Graduate/Master's degree programs at CI in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks, Information Session Schedule, or Organizing an Education Fair at your company

Barbara Grimes
Credential Analyst
Credential representative

Contact Information

GSC - El Dorado Hall
1 University Drive,
Camarillo, CA 93012
Phone: (805) 437-3579
E-mail: gs.center@csuci.edu